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Speaking Up or Silencing Out in the Face of Rising Right-Wing Populism: A Dynamic Test of the Spiral of Silence across 15 European Countries

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Thurre Frédéric Olivier, Gale Jessica, Staerklé Christian,
Project European Social Survey 2014+2016
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal International Journal of Public Opinion Research
Page(s) 1 - 21
Title of proceedings International Journal of Public Opinion Research
DOI 10.1093/ijpor/edz034


AbstractThe spiral of silence theory posits that when a given political position comes to be seen as the majority opinion, perceivers holding alternative views will feel pressured to become silent, thereby contributing to the growing public decline of the minority camp. Testing the theory across 15 countries (N = 195,194) with data taken from the European Social Survey (2002–2016), we examined whether recently rising right-wing populist positions silenced supranational opinions or whether, on the contrary, they were silenced by established norms of democratic governance and social inclusiveness. The proposed modeling overcomes two limitations of prior research by using a macroscopic and dynamic approach that allows the detection of the “spiraling” normative conformity process in nationally representative samples.